Sick Children at Home

The Association for the Care of Children's Health (ACCH), a multidisciplinary association of professionals and parents concerned with the psychosocial quality of child health services, applauds Dr. Ruth Stein's call {Second Opinion, Sept. 15} for new strategies for home care. Such care is but one aspect of a new philosophy of pediatric health care: family-centered, community-based care.

In June the surgeon general launched a major federal initiative: "a call to action" for implementation of this new approach. In his report, Dr. C. Everett Koop challenges families, health care providers, states and the health care financing sector to ensure that "our nation has a family-centered, community-based approach to care for all children with special health care needs."

Crucial to this approach is the recognition, respect and support of the pivotal role families play in the care of children with special needs. While service systems and personnel within these systems may fluctuate, it is the parents, the siblings, the extended family and the community that are the constants in a child's life.

To assist parents and professionals in their efforts to effect such change, ACCH, through a grant from the Division of Maternal and Child Health of the U.S. Public Health Service, coordinates a national network of parents of children with special needs. Interested parents may call 244-1801.

Beverly H. Johnson

Executive Director

Association for the Care of Children's Health

Washington

Fighting Guinea Worm Disease

I want to thank you for writing such an informative article on dracunculiasis, or Guinea worm disease {Health Focus, Sept. 1}. Your article will help many recognize and understand this debilitating disease. The Board on Science and Technology for International Development (BOSTID) has been concerned about dracunculiasis for many years, and in 1982 held an international workshop on the topic. That this parasite is indeed now targeted for eradication is a credit to BOSTID, and to the many scientists who attended the 1982 workshop.

Your article reaches an important audience that our conference and resulting booklet did not -- the general public. It is very satisfying to us to know that our early efforts have had such a far-reaching effect.

Wendy D. White

Information Services Manager

National Research Council

Washington

Living With Crohn's

As a Crohn's patient in remission for five years, I've been following Deborah Schwartz's articles with avid interest. Yes, Crohn's is, when active, a terribly disabling disease. However, there are patients like myself who are fortunate enough to respond to surgery. One never knows when Crohn's may rear its ugly head again, but for now many of us are enjoying good health.

My hope is that this will be a positive note for the newly diagnosed and encouraging to those who are presently battling the disease.

Bonita Boyle Cote

Gaithersburg

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